Posted by: Burth Helm on November 24, 2008
Last night a Guns N’ Roses-obsessed friend of mine sent me an email: “Don’t forget to burn Dr. Pepper today for doubting Axl.” He was referring, of course, to the soda brand’s smug promise that it would give a free Dr. Pepper to everyone in America if GNR frontman Axl Rose actually finished Chinese Democracy this year. Back in March, observers like Ken Wheaton at AdAge called it the safest bet imaginable — after all, the album had been in the works for about 15 years. But this month, Axl Rose went and did the unthinkable, turning Dr. Pepper’s cute PR stunt into a mega-promotion. Today (and today only) the brand is on the hook for millions of free sodas. So go get your free Dr. Pepper coupon.
Of course, nobody’s “burning” Dr. Pepper. The stunt got them a free marketing tie-in, tons of PR, and after these 24 hours, a huge database of customer information as people enter their name, birthday, mailing address and email to get a coupon that takes 4-6 weeks to arrive. A cheap price to sell away your personal data? Yes, I guess so, but I did it anyway. Call me an idiot, but I’m thirsty.